Weird places people hide cash around the home

Weird places people hide cash around the home

It was revealed this week that for every Australian that there are 10, $100 notes in circulation. You might be thinking, so what? But when you consider that there are only seven of the more commonly seen $20 notes for each Aussie, it becomes a bit of a head scratcher.

But a former Reserve Bank of Australia official, Peter Mair, thinks he’s found the reason and that reason is old people. That’s right; senior citizens hiding, burying and stuffing their mattresses full of cash to make sure they qualify for the means-tested pension.

“For those people looking to qualify to get the pensioner concession card and to draw a part-pension it makes a lot of sense to manage your assets in a way that converts some into anonymous cash,” Peter Mair told ABC Radio.

He also estimates that the average pensioner couple could be hiding up to $50,000 worth of undeclared $50 and $100 bills. And for one older timer on the radio, that figure is right on the money.

“$65,000 went into my garage, well I won’t say where but it’s there in $100 and $50 notes,” the caller, identified as Brian, told radio station 3AW.

Top hiding places

So where do people like to squirrel their money away? A recent poll conducted by British comparison site Confused found that the bedroom is the most popular hiding place for cash, with 30 percent of survey respondents admitting they kept cash stashed under the mattress or in the underwear drawer.

A fifth used a piggy bank or money box and about 7 percent of people opted for extra security by keeping the money hidden under their floorboards.

Earlier this month a California man made headlines after he passed away, leaving an estimated $US7 million in coins hidden in his house and garage. Authorities said some of the coins were disguised in boxes marked “books”, while others were found wrapped in aluminium foil and stored in ammunition boxes.

Meanwhile, a Sydney man who hid $15,000 in cash in his oven was left with a colourful mess after his wife turned it on earlier this year.

“Some people, especially of an older generation may not trust the banks as much as the rest of us do and that’s a perfectly legitimate reason [in their minds] for hiding cash away from prying eyes,” financial commentator Tom Elliott told Ten’s The Project.

For whatever reason you may keep large amounts of cash stored at home, be aware of the risks involved. Some home insurance policies may only cover cash stolen from the home up to a certain amount, if any. If your stash exceeds this figure, then you may not have a leg to stand on.

For those Australians needing reassurance that their money is safe with the banks, Treasurer Wayne Swan said this in a statement last year: “We have one of the most generous and secure deposit insurance schemes in the world”.

That’s because the Australian Government guarantees bank deposits of up to $250,000 held in Australian-licensed banks, building societies and credit unions. That’s slightly less than the equivalent of a $288,000 deposit scheme in the US, but it is more than double programs in Canada and Japan. Britain protects the equivalent of $167,000 in savings.

While a deposit account may not be as creative a hiding place as an oven or your floorboards, a savings account or term deposit is a secure place to stash your cash. And unlike the mattress, it could help your lump sum to grow!

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Learn more about savings accounts

How to make money with a savings account?

Savings accounts make you money by earning interest on your savings. The more money you deposit, the longer you leave it in the account, and the higher the account’s interest rate, the more interest you’ll be paid by the bank or financial institution, and the more your wealth will grow.

To make sure your savings account makes money and doesn’t lose money, it’s important to maintain a large enough minimum balance that the annual interest earned exceeds any annual fees charged on the account.

What is a savings account?

A savings account is a type of bank account in which you earn interest on the money you deposit. This makes it one of the easiest and safest investment tools.

What is an ANZ locked savings account?

An ANZ locked savings account locks your money and prevents you from spending. You may use a standard savings account as the account where your salary is deposited. You can then withdraw funds when needed, but aren’t able to make purchases with it. However, this account may not grow much as the continual withdrawing of funds will limit the interest you can earn.

With a locked savings account in ANZ, you know your savings will grow because you can’t access the money. You can also qualify for a bonus when you deposit at least $10 per month and don’t make any withdrawals. To help you with this further you can set up an automatic transfer from your regular ANZ savings or transaction account so you don’t forget to make a monthly deposit.

Your ANZ locked savings account offers you a base interest rate of 0.1 per cent per annum plus an additional bonus interest of 0.49 per cent per year. The interest is calculated daily and credited to your account on the last working day of the month.

Should I open a Commonwealth locked savings account?

If you have trouble saving money, a Commbank locked savings account could be a potential solution. A locked savings account won’t let you make withdrawals and as such, it can help you grow your savings balance if you keep topping it up. 

The Commonwealth locked savings account advertises high-interest rates and minimal maintenance fees, along with a host of other incentives that will encourage you not to touch the money. 

The account offers a higher interest rate for each month that you make limited or no withdrawals, as well as regular deposits. 

To qualify for a Commonwealth locked savings account with the advertised features, you will need to fulfil specific criteria such as:

  • Depositing a fixed minimum amount into the account every month.
  • Making a fixed number of deposits each month.
  • Making a minimum or no withdrawals each month.
  • Maintaining a minimum account balance.

How much money should I have in my savings account?

A good rule of thumb when working out a minimum balance for your savings account is to make sure that you’ll earn more in annual interest on your savings than what you’ll be charged in annual fees.

If you’re saving with a specific goal in mind, prepare a budget so the interest you earn on your deposits will help you efficiently reach this goal. Online financial calculators may be helpful here.

Can you have multiple ING savings accounts?

Yes, you can open up to nine accounts with ING at any particular time. If you’re saving money for various goals, such as buying a car or taking a holiday, you can name each of your multiple ING savings accounts differently.

To get a Savings Maximiser account, you’ll need to deposit more than $1000 every month and make at least five additional purchases. If you also want to grow your savings, from 1st March 2021, you can earn up to 1.35 per cent per annum variable interest on one account with a balance of up to $100,000 when you also maintain an Orange Everyday account.

With ING, multiple savings accounts can help keep track of all your savings goals. All the accounts offer flexible withdrawals where you can withdraw as low or as high as you want without impacting your earning interest rate. However, you can only earn the bonus interest on one account. To apply for a Savings Maximiser account, you can visit ingdirect.com.au.

Can you have a joint savings account?

Yes. Joint savings accounts can be useful for two or more people wanting to combine their savings to meet shared financial goals, including spouses, flatmates and business partners.

Some joint savings accounts require all parties to sign before they can access the money. While less convenient, this extra security can help encourage all parties to meet their shared financial goals.

Other joint savings accounts allow any of the account holders to access the money. These accounts can be convenient for financially responsible couples that trust one another implicitly. 

How to open a savings account for my child?

Some banks and financial institutions allow parents to open a bank account for their child as soon as it is born, and start depositing funds to go towards the child’s future.

Children’s savings accounts generally don’t have fees, and are structured to help develop positive financial habits by limiting withdrawals, encouraging regular deposits, and earning interest on the savings, similarly to standard savings accounts.

Can you set up a savings account online?

Yes. Several large and small banks offer online applications for savings accounts, and there are also online-only financial institutions to consider.

Online-only savings accounts are often less expensive than other savings accounts, though they may not offer the same flexibility, features, or face-to-face service as more traditional savings accounts.

How do I open a savings account?

Opening a savings account is a relatively simple process. If you’ve found an account with a suitable interest rate, you’ll just need to get in contact with your chosen lender via a branch, phone call or hop online to begin the process. 

You may be required to provide:

  • Personal details, including identification (driver’s license, passport etc.)
  • Tax file number
  • Employment details

Can you set up direct debits from a savings account?

It’s not usually possible to set up a direct debit from your savings account to cover ongoing expenses or bills, as savings accounts are structured around growing your wealth by earning interest on regular deposits, and discouraging withdrawals.

Some transaction accounts allow you to set up direct debits and also earn interest, though you may not enjoy as much flexibility as a dedicated transaction account, or get as high an interest rate as a dedicated savings account.

What are the two types of NAB locked savings accounts?

With a locked savings account in NAB, you can earn bonus interest and learn financial discipline. NAB offers two types of locked savings accounts, each with their own terms and conditions.

The NAB Reward Saver account pays a variable base interest rate of 0.05 per cent per annum and a bonus interest of 0.55 per cent. You’re eligible for the bonus if you make a minimum of one deposit on or before the second last banking day and have no withdrawals in the month.

Meanwhile, the NAB iSaver account provides 0.05 per cent as the standard base interest rate and a fixed bonus margin of 0.55 per cent during the first four months from the date of opening the account. You can park your cash in the account and enjoy unlimited monthly transfers between linked daily bank accounts without impacting the interest rate.

What is a good interest rate for a savings account?

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind with savings accounts is to look for a rate that is higher than the CPI inflation rate. This number is constantly changing, so check the Reserve Bank of Australia’s page. If you aren’t earning interest above this then the value of your money will go backwards over time.

What is a Westpac locked savings account?

The Westpac locked savings account (also known as "Westpac Life") can help customers reach savings goals faster through bonus interest. Customers receive 0.2 per cent standard base interest with a variable bonus rate of 0.35 per cent when the closing balance at the end of the month is higher than the opening balance.

There are some conditions to earn the bonus interest on Westpac's locked savings account, though. First, you’ll need to increase the balance each month either through a deposit or not making any withdrawals, and then link it to a Westpac Choice account and make at least five eligible payments using your debit card. Please consult your bank as to what an eligible payment is.